Ahrweiler – of all things, the resting place of a dead person saves his life!
When firefighter Friedhelm Jakobs (59) was hit by the gigantic tidal wave, he clung to the cross tombstone of Albert Kreuzberg in the cemetery. For six hours!
On the evening of the severe weather disaster, the deputy chief of the volunteer fire brigade in Ahrweiler was on duty, directly on the Ahr.
Jakobs had made loudspeaker announcements with comrades in the old town around 6 p.m. to warn the population! The master confectioner: “Nobody took us seriously. Nobody believed that something like this could happen. I had to listen to cheek when we asked the people in the market square via loudspeaker not to go down to the basement under any circumstances. “
When Jakobs later wades around the tool shed with a comrade, the water is knee-deep and is rising at breakneck speed: “We could only escape to the adjacent cemetery wall. We thought: It is 2.50 meters high and 60 centimeters thick, nothing will happen to us! “
A deadly mistake! “The water was so fast at a height of 2.20 meters. Unbelievable! Suddenly, transport tubs drifted straight towards us from the station. We caught one. “
Then the wall collapses! “We were lying in the water, luckily we were able to save ourselves in the tub. That was our lifeboat, ”says Jakobs. “Then we drifted away with the tide!” Directly above the cemetery.
His young colleague manages to climb the top of a tree. Jakobs stays in the water and first clings to a thick branch. Then he manages to take off his jacket. The colleague knots one sleeve to a branch, while Jakobs is holding onto the other sleeve. Into the night, for hours. Then the strength leaves him. The 59-year-old: “I saw a giant square timber in the water, I just threw myself over it.” His colleague pulls out a flashlight: “Then I saw a high stone grave cross from the 19th century in the light level. I climbed on it. “
After an endless six hours, he was rescued in the morning light by an amphibious vehicle from the Bonn fire brigade. Fortunately, his comrade in the tree also remains unharmed. The cemetery is completely devastated, as is the guard.
The firefighter’s family would like to pay special tribute to his “savior”, Albert Kreuzberg, who has been dead for over 100 years. Jakobs: “My grandson should be called Albert, I can say that.”